President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and US President Joe Biden following their meeting on the side-lines of Jeddah Summit (photo Courtesy: official twitter account of Biden)
"Earlier today [Saturday], I sat down with President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to reaffirm our shared commitment to the U.S.-Egypt strategic partnership, and to discuss regional and global challenges,” US Biden posted on his official Twitter account.
In celebrating the milestone of 100 years of US-Egypt diplomatic relations, El-Sisi and Biden expressed their intention to meet again in the near future to further enhance the two countries’ multi-faceted partnership, according to a joint statement issued following their meeting on Saturday.
Last April, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken gifted Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry -- during his visit to Washington to commemorate the centennial of diplomatic ties -- two letters marking the beginning of relations between both countries in 1922.
El-Sisi and Biden renewed their commitment to the US-Egypt Strategic Dialogue that is co-chaired by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry. They also welcomed the continued implementation of its outcomes, the joint statement said.
The meeting between El-Sisi and Biden in Jeddah is the first between both presidents since Biden took the office in January 2021.
According to the joint statement, Biden reiterated in the meeting that the US aims to continue to support Egypt in providing for its own defense, including through the continued provision of security assistance in consultation with the U.S. Congress.
Concerning economic cooperation, both presidents agreed to explore new ways of expanding bilateral trade, increasing private sector investments, and collaborating on clean energy and climate technology. Furthermore, the leaders welcomed the recent US GreenTech Mission to Egypt and committed to launch the high-level Joint Economic Commission.
The US is Egypt’s second-largest trading partner after China, with a total trade volume of $9.1 billion in 2021 up from $6.9 billion in 2020, according to the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham). Egypt accounted for five percent of the Middle East and North Africa exports to the US last year and nine percent of the region’s imports from the US.
“The US and Egypt share particular concerns over the severe global consequences that stem from the war in Ukraine, including the global supply chains as well as energy and commodity prices,” the joint statement said.
Concerning human rights, Biden and El-Sisi emphasised their mutual commitment to a constructive dialogue on human rights, which is an integral component of the strong US-Egypt partnership.
On Saturday, the Egyptain president attended the Jeddah Security and Development Summit, which brought together leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in addition to Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and the US.
During his visit, El-Sisi also held several bilateral meetings with leaders participating in the Jeddah summit to discuss relations and the latest regional and international developments.